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Welwyn Garden City to Peterborough

Michael Portillo continues his journey from London to Edinburgh. Michael heads north from London, and in Bedfordshire he drives a 'locomobile'.

After the excitement of his ride on the Flying Scotsman, Michael begins a new journey with his Bradshaw's guidebook north from London, following the historic service's path at a more leisurely pace. Along the way he is forced to expend more effort than usual on the rails as he pumps a track inspection trolley. A Swiss garden in Bedfordshire delivers an unexpected spectacle of early 20th-century engineering marvels and the chance to drive a 'locomobile'.

Michael then goes back to school at Haileybury, once a training college for the East India Company, where the master is unimpressed by Portillo's exam performance. At Rothamsted Research, Michael discovers the Victorian origins of the fertiliser industry and a treasure trove of plant and soil samples.

29 minutes

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:23


    I Believe


Role Contributor
Presenter Michael Portillo
Series Producer Alison Kreps
Executive Producer John Comerford


Steam Railways

Steam Railways

A collection of programmes from the BBC archives on the beauty of steam locomotives.